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Archive for the 'Trivia' Category

Mini-Mailbag: Worst in Offense and Defense

26th January 2011

As if Monday's post wasn't enough, we're back for another painful Cleveland history lesson courtesy of SI.com's Zach Lowe:

"Has any team finished last in both offensive and defensive efficiency? [...] Cavs now in danger of pulling off this double."

During the era in which we can apply the official possessions formula, two NBA teams can claim the unfortunate distinction of finishing last in both offensive rating & defensive rating in the same season:

Year Team W L Pts oPts Poss ORtg Rk DRtg Rk #Tms
1993 Dallas Mavericks 11 71 8141 9387 8181.2 99.5 27 114.7 27 27
1987 Los Angeles Clippers 12 70 8566 9503 8460.7 101.2 23 112.3 23 23

Of course, that's just since 1974. If we use my pre-1974 possessions estimator, the list doubles in size:

Year Team W L Pts oPts Poss ORtg Rk DRtg Rk #Tms
1993 Dallas Mavericks 11 71 8141 9387 8181.2 99.5 27 114.7 27 27
1987 Los Angeles Clippers 12 70 8566 9503 8460.7 101.2 23 112.3 23 23
1971 Cleveland Cavaliers 15 67 8373 9289 9081.1 92.2 17 102.3 17 17
1959 Cincinnati Royals 19 53 7421 8060 8626.6 86.0 8 93.4 8 8

How close are the 2011 Cavaliers, then? They're already dead last in offense, with a 0.9 pts/100 poss. cushion between them and #29 Milwaukee. They're also 28th in defense, fractionally ahead of #29 Toronto and 0.4 pts/100 poss. in front of last-place Phoenix. So it's certainly going to be possible for them to overtake (undertake?) the Suns before the season is over. Here's how they stack up against the other teams listed above:

Year Team W L Pts oPts Poss ORtg Rk DRtg Rk #Tms
1993 Dallas Mavericks 11 71 8141 9387 8181.2 99.5 27 114.7 27 27
1987 Los Angeles Clippers 12 70 8566 9503 8460.7 101.2 23 112.3 23 23
1971 Cleveland Cavaliers 15 67 8373 9289 9081.1 92.2 17 102.3 17 17
1959 Cincinnati Royals 19 53 7421 8060 8626.6 86.0 8 93.4 8 8
2011 Cleveland Cavaliers 8 37 4203 4711 4215.1 99.7 30 111.8 28 30

Posted in BBR Mailbag, History, Trivia | 9 Comments »

Franchise Peaks and Valleys

20th January 2011

What was the best run ever for your favorite team? What was the worst stretch of seasons? Let's take a look at the raw numbers in terms of NBA winning percentage over an x-year span (including our regressed 2011 WPcts):

Best & Worst 2 Years

Team Best 2 Years Worst 2 Years
Atlanta Hawks 1986/1987 (.652) 2005/2006 (.238)
Boston Celtics 1985/1986 (.793) 1996/1997 (.293)
Charlotte Bobcats 2009/2010 (.482) 2005/2006 (.268)
Chicago Bulls 1996/1997 (.860) 2000/2001 (.195)
Cleveland Cavaliers 2009/2010 (.774) 1982/1983 (.232)
Dallas Mavericks 2006/2007 (.774) 1993/1994 (.146)
Denver Nuggets 2009/2010 (.652) 1998/1999 (.189)
Detroit Pistons 1989/1990 (.744) 1980/1981 (.226)
Golden State Warriors 1975/1976 (.652) 2000/2001 (.220)
Houston Rockets 1993/1994 (.689) 1983/1984 (.262)
Indiana Pacers 1998/1999 (.689) 1983/1984 (.280)
Los Angeles Clippers 1975/1976 (.579) 1987/1988 (.177)
Los Angeles Lakers 1972/1973 (.787) 1958/1959 (.361)
Memphis Grizzlies 2004/2005 (.579) 1996/1997 (.177)
Miami Heat 1997/1998 (.707) 1989/1990 (.201)
Team Best 2 Years Worst 2 Years
Milwaukee Bucks 1971/1972 (.787) 1993/1994 (.293)
Minnesota Timberwolves 2003/2004 (.665) 1992/1993 (.207)
New Jersey Nets 2002/2003 (.616) 2010/2011 (.216)
New Orleans Hornets 1997/1998 (.640) 1989/1990 (.238)
New York Knicks 1993/1994 (.713) 1963/1964 (.269)
Oklahoma City Thunder 1995/1996 (.738) 2008/2009 (.262)
Orlando Magic 2009/2010 (.720) 1990/1991 (.299)
Philadelphia 76ers 1967/1968 (.798) 1973/1974 (.207)
Phoenix Suns 1993/1994 (.720) 1969/1970 (.335)
Portland Trail Blazers 1990/1991 (.744) 1972/1973 (.238)
Sacramento Kings 2002/2003 (.732) 2009/2010 (.256)
San Antonio Spurs 2005/2006 (.744) 1988/1989 (.317)
Toronto Raptors 2000/2001 (.561) 1997/1998 (.280)
Utah Jazz 1997/1998 (.768) 1979/1980 (.305)
Washington Wizards 1975/1976 (.659) 1962/1963 (.269)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Analysis, History, Statgeekery, Trivia | 10 Comments »

Quick Mailbag: 40+ Point Scoring Teammates in Same Game

18th January 2011

Last week we had a question that I wanted to get to, but didn't have a chance until today. David wrote:

"After seeing LeBron drop 44 and Wade drop 34 in the game today, I was wondering when was the last time two players on the same team both scored 40+?"

Our box score database goes back to 1986-87 -- 1991 for the playoffs -- so we have three games on hand where two teammates scored 40+ points in the same game (and oddly enough, two took place in the postseason):

  • Utah at Houston, May 5, 1995. Facing elimination in Game 4 of the 1995 West quarters, the Rockets got exactly the kind of performance they envisioned when they acquired Clyde Drexler to pair with Hakeem Olajuwon. Glide dropped 41, Dream poured in 40, and Houston dominated 123-106. Two nights later, Olajuwon & Drexler combined for 64 points to put Utah away, and they went on to power the team's 2nd consecutive NBA title bid that June.
  • Chicago at Indiana, February 18, 1996. For the Bulls, this was just one of 72 victories in a landmark 1996 campaign that still stands as the most successful in NBA history. Fresh off the All-Star break, Chicago took their 36th win in their last 39 games when Michael Jordan (44 points) and Scottie Pippen (40) combined for more than 76% of the team's scoring output all by themselves.
  • Philadelphia at Indiana, May 6, 2000. This time, Indiana was on the giving end of the scoring outbursts, as Jalen Rose and Reggie Miller each tallied 40 apiece during a 108-91 win over the Sixers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semis. The Pacers would go on to take the series in 6 games, eventually advancing to the NBA Finals before running into a Laker buzz saw.

Posted in BBR Mailbag, History, Trivia | 27 Comments »

Hall of Fame Players With the Shortest Waits Before Induction

12th January 2011

Since there's a certain primacy to players who required fewer "ballots" for Hall of Fame induction, here is everyone in the Basketball Hall of Fame who played in the NBA/ABA/BAA, sorted by the fewest years between their final NBA/ABA/BAA season and the HoF class in which they were inducted:

Player Final Yr Inducted Diff
Bob Cousy 1 1970 1971 1
Ed Macauley 2 1959 1960 1
George Mikan 2 1956 1959 3
Andy Phillip 2 1958 1961 3
Elgin Baylor 3 1972 1977 5
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1989 1995 6
Charles Barkley 2000 2006 6
Larry Bird 1992 1998 6
Bill Bradley 1977 1983 6
Wilt Chamberlain 1973 1979 6
Clyde Drexler 1998 2004 6
Alex English 1991 1997 6
Julius Erving 1987 1993 6
Patrick Ewing 2002 2008 6
John Havlicek 1978 1984 6
Elvin Hayes 1984 1990 6
Magic Johnson 1996 2002 6
Michael Jordan 2003 2009 6
Jerry Lucas 1974 1980 6
Karl Malone 2004 2010 6
Moses Malone 1995 2001 6
Kevin McHale 1993 1999 6
Hakeem Olajuwon 2002 2008 6
Robert Parish 1997 2003 6
Bob Pettit 1965 1971 6
Scottie Pippen 2004 2010 6
Oscar Robertson 1974 1980 6
David Robinson 2003 2009 6
Bill Russell 1969 1975 6
John Stockton 2003 2009 6
Isiah Thomas 1994 2000 6
Bill Walton 1987 1993 6
Jerry West 1974 1980 6
Tiny Archibald 1984 1991 7
Rick Barry 1980 1987 7
Joe Dumars 1999 2006 7
Walt Frazier 1980 1987 7
Pete Maravich 1980 1987 7
Wes Unseld 1981 1988 7
Dominique Wilkins 1999 2006 7
Dave Cowens 1983 1991 8
Cliff Hagan 1970 1978 8
Dan Issel 1985 1993 8
Bob Lanier 1984 1992 8
Willis Reed 1974 1982 8
Nate Thurmond 1977 1985 8
Dave DeBusschere 1974 1983 9
Hal Greer 1973 1982 9
Drazen Petrovic 1993 2002 9
Dolph Schayes 1964 1973 9
James Worthy 1994 2003 9
Billy Cunningham 1976 1986 10
George Gervin 1986 1996 10
Tom Gola 1966 1976 10
Earl Monroe 1980 1990 10
Calvin Murphy 1983 1993 10
Dave Bing 1978 1990 12
David Thompson 1984 1996 12
Bob McAdoo 1986 2000 14
Lenny Wilkens 1975 1989 14
Bob Davies 1955 1970 15
Sam Jones 1969 1984 15
Bill Sharman 1961 1976 15
Paul Arizin 1962 1978 16
Connie Hawkins 1976 1992 16
Adrian Dantley 1991 2008 17
Gail Goodrich 1979 1996 17
Jack Twyman 1966 1983 17
Walt Bellamy 1975 1993 18
Frank Ramsey 1964 1982 18
Dennis Johnson 1990 2010 20
Tom Heinsohn 1965 1986 21
K.C. Jones 1967 1989 22
Slater Martin 1960 1982 22
Jim Pollard 1955 1978 23
Joe Fulks 1954 1978 24
Clyde Lovellette 1964 1988 24
Bailey Howell 1971 1997 26
Bob Houbregs 1958 1987 29
Bobby Wanzer 1957 1987 30
Neil Johnston 1959 1990 31
Al Cervi 1953 1985 32
Harry Gallatin 1958 1991 33
Dick McGuire 1960 1993 33
Vern Mikkelsen 1959 1995 36
George Yardley 1960 1996 36
Gus Johnson 1973 2010 37
Arnie Risen 1958 1998 40
Buddy Jeannette 1950 1994 44
Maurice Stokes 1958 2004 46

This is not necessarily a list of players with the shortest time between retirement from basketball and HoF induction. In most cases, "retirement from the NBA/ABA/BAA" and "retirement from basketball" are the same thing, but it's possible for a player to delay his eligibility by playing in a minor league after retiring from the "majors".

1 - Cousy initially retired in 1963, which would have made him eligible for the Class of 1969. However, he returned to the NBA with the Royals for 7 games in 1969-70. After re-retiring, he maintained his earlier eligibility from 1969.
2 - Inducted before HoF established the 5-year waiting period.
3 - Baylor played 9 games before retiring early in the 1971-72 season, so for the Hall of Fame's purposes he was eligible in 1977.

Posted in Awards, Data Dump, Hall of Fame, History, Trivia | 12 Comments »

Active Hall of Famers

10th January 2011

I was curious about which seasons saw the most Hall of Famers in action, so I set up a query to count how many HOFers (inducted as players) were active in a given season, both in the NBA and the NBA/ABA/BAA combined:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Hall of Fame, History, Trivia | 65 Comments »

Layups: Name the 1990s All-NBA Teams

4th January 2011

From Sporcle, here's a quiz for everyone who fondly remembers the NBA of the nineties:

Can you name the players who made the All-NBA team in the 1990's?

Posted in Just For Fun, Layups, Trivia | 16 Comments »

Same Player, Different Roles

29th December 2010

I was browsing the stats this morning when I noticed that Ron Artest is currently using 14.7% of the Lakers' possessions when he's on the court, the 19th-lowest possession-usage rate of any qualified player in the NBA. Before joining L.A., Artest was accustomed to usage rates well over the league average of 20%, which had me wondering how Artest's decline in usage compares to other players who changed roles at varying times in the their careers.

It turns out that Artest is currently on pace to be one of only 5 players in NBA history (since 1952, at least) to have one qualified season with a possession rate of at least 25% and another with a rate of 15% of less:

Player Max Usg Year Min Usg Year
Ron Artest 25.7 2004 14.7 2011
Wilt Chamberlain 32.7 1962 12.8 1973
Gary Payton 28.0 2002 14.5 2006
Guy Rodgers 25.0 1966 14.4 1962
Sidney Wicks 27.4 1972 14.7 1980

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Analysis, History, Statgeekery, Trivia | 5 Comments »

Checking In on James Posey & James Jones

22nd December 2010

In early November, we had a reader point out that James Posey & James Jones were having historic seasons -- namely, the two Jameses were 1-2 all-time in terms of the highest single-season percentage of shot attempts coming from beyond the 3-point arc. A month and a half later, I thought we'd check in once again on that pair, to see if they're still on a collision course with history.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Analysis, Just For Fun, Totally Useless, Trivia | 9 Comments »

Best Records vs. Top-4 Seeds, 1984-2010

17th December 2010

This is sort of a random data dump/trivia post, but this old Doug Drinen post about NFL teams' records vs. fellow playoff participants inspired me to run a similar query for NBA top-4 seeds' records against other top-4 seeds (in either conference). Since the NBA expanded to 16 playoff teams in 1984, here are the top-4 seeds with the best records vs. their fellow top-4 seeds:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Analysis, History, Playoffs, Totally Useless, Trivia | 13 Comments »

Contest – Name the NBA General Managers, Win a Copy of Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball 2

8th November 2010

As a follow-up to my review of Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball 2, Wolverine Studios president Gary Gorski has generously offered to give one lucky BBR reader a free copy of his game. And since he asked that I come up with a contest for the giveaway, I thought this would be a great chance to revisit our old friends at Sporcle...

A significant part of DDS:PB2 is devoted to testing your skills as an executive, so I want you to name every NBA team's current General Manager in under 4 minutes. You can re-take the quiz as many times as you want, but starting the moment this post goes live at 11:00 AM EST , the first person to email me a screenshot of their form with all of the answers correct, within the allotted time, wins the game.

On your marks... get set... Go!!

UPDATE: We have a winner! This contest is closed.

Posted in Announcements, Just For Fun, Layups, Trivia, Video Games | Comments Off